Opistognathus jacksoniensis (Macleay, 1881)

Common Name: 
Southern Smiler

Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Species distribution uncertain but probably east coast of Australia from southern Queensland to at least Sydney.

Ecological Notes: 

Frequents sand and rubble areas near reefs, where it can build a burrow lined with rubble and shell material. Depth from 30 - 50 m.

Additional Notes: 

Commonly seen with just the head visible from its burrow, these fishes are shy and retreat tail first when threatened. This species has an elongate body and a large mouth which is used to incubate eggs. Grows to about 20 cm.


Kuiter, R. H., Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Published by Crawford House Press Pty. Ltd., 1993. p313.

Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Opistognathus+jacksoniensis. Accessed 17/06/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Opistognathus-jacksoniensis.html. Accessed 17/06/18.